this is a question i ask myself every now and then

Birth of Desire

His smile is what I look forward to every week. Something about his smile lights up the room. Everything brightens up when he smiles at you or just in general. Shawn is smiling whiling writing new lyrics for SM3 and it instantly puts a smile on my face.

“You know you look creepy smiling like a weirdo right?” Shawn speaks up awakening me from my daze. I look at Shawn weirdly as he stares back at me.

“I love your smile” I say giving him my own version of his smile or at least try to. Shawn’s laughs echoes through the studio causing me to let out hesitant chuckle. He leans forward from his seat and clutches his stomach. His hand comes up to wipe away small tears falling down his face.

“T-that’s haha not how I smile. I’m sorry baby, but it looks like your forcing the smile” Shawn laughs again and eventually falls off his chair. I send him a glare as he tries to recuperate from laughing.

“Sorry I can’t do a good impersonation of the ‘Shawn Mendes’ smile” I tell him crossing my arms over my chest. Which oddly enough lifts my boobs a bit. Shawn clears his throat a bit before walking towards me. He takes a seat next to me pulling onto his lap to straddle him. My hand instinctively go around his neck pulling me a little closer to his chest. Shawn let’s out a small sigh as his eyes are concentrated on my breasts. I flick his head a little to get his attention, but it doesn’t remove his gaze from my breasts.

“You should really wear this sundress more often. The sundress makes your breasts look so much bigger baby. And it focuses on all your beautiful curves, no wonder Geoff and Andrew ban you from coming to the studio. I bet if you came here every time I would never get writing done, since I would have you bent over the coffee table.”

“Thanks” I respond with a small voice as he tugs the bottom of the sundress upwards to lay around my hips. Shawn’s hands make there way up my thigh slowly caressing it before cupping my face in his hands. His breath fans over my face as inches his lips closer to mine. Before he can kiss me he removes his hands from my face leaving me dumbfounded.Shawn hands start to travel down my body again and stop once he reaches my thigh. His hands move upwards under the dress and he pulls on the elastic of my underwear and lets it go. A small snap is emitted from his action.

“Don’t start getting shy on me princess! We both know your not shy when it comes to our sex life” Shawn seductively whispers into my ear as his hand keep moving upwards until they reaches my breasts. “No bra such a bad girl” he says as he caresses my breasts gently squeezing ever so often. I feel myself get wetter as his calloused fingers pull at my nipple. I let out a moan as he continues to pinch my nipples.

“Shaw-“ his phone rings on the side table interrupting us. I let out a sigh of relief as I watch him answer the phone. He taps my thigh so I can get up. I straighten my dress out and turn away to regain my composure. His hands wrap themselves around my middle and pull me back into his lap. I try and question his actions and he puts a finger to his lips.

“Yes, Andrew I’ll have the date set on the Calendar” Shawn responds as he hums in between Andrews responses. His hands trail their way to the hem of my dress bunching it around my waist. Shawn’s fingers inch their way down my panties and cup aroused core into his hand igniting a whimper from deep within my throat. He pulls me back not to hard, a hand around my throat he whispers in my ear “shh… you need to be quiet while I talk on the phone can you do that princess?” I nod as he keeps my body leaning on him.

“Sorry Andrew can you repeat that?” Andrew starting talking again and Shawn hand move my underwear to one side allowing him to to separate my folds. His cold hands send a shiver down my spine as he continues to move up and down my slit. My head turns to face his neck and try to quiet my moans as best as I can. Shawn’s fingers make their way to my throbbing clit rubbing harsh circles. My hand comes up to my mouth to diminish the constant moans and whines that leaves my lips. Shawn let’s go and I’m regaining my breath before I know his index finger pushes into me.

“Ohh Sh- Shawn what was that?” Andrew asks through the phone after I cover my mouth. Shawn sends me a glare before he clears his throat.

“Its Y/N, I don’t know what she’s doing right now. So what are our plans for the next album and upcoming tour?” Shawn resumes conversation with him leaving me to cover my moans again. In no time I’m a withering mess as my orgasm takes over my body. My thigh close trapping Shawn’s fingers from removing themselves. His fingers slowly thrust in me to ride out my high. I so badly want to scream in ecstasy as all the pleasure washes over me.

“Geoff thinks it’s best if we start in North America before moving the tour to Europe. He wants to check with you first before we start calling venues and hotels for your arrival. I also think it would be a great idea to give you a bit more time with Y/N. So Shawn what do you say?” Andrew says through the phone as Shawn looks at me. I’m in a daze trying to regain my composure. Shawn slide me off his lap and stands up.

“I think that’s great! Maybe she can be with me during the North American tour, yeah? This so great and all the buzz of SM3 is amazing.” Shawn hums to Andrews response more and my eyes slowly start to close. The undoing of a belt buckle makes me immediately open my eyes again. Shawn stands before me phone between his shoulder and neck a he undoes his pants. In two minutes tops Shawn stands in all his naked glory before me. The conversation with Andrew continues as Shawn sits back on his couch and pull me on to his lap. He presses the phone to his chest to avoid Andrew hearing our conversation.

“Take everything off and sit on my lap now” I listen to him and quickly remove any article of clothing I may on. I make a move to straddle Shawn’s lap, but he turns me around so I’m facing the large view windows looking out towards the city. We are only a few floors above the city, so anyone who looks while see my naked body on full display. It makes me wetter at the thought of being caught by people walking.

“Andrew it’s hard! I can’t have three songs recorded by midnight without anyone here! Yes, Y/N’s here….. I’m not kicking her out! ANDREW!” Shawn yells into the phone followed by Andrews response trying to calm down Shawn. I can feel his erection poking my back and I reach behind and give a gentle squeeze. His hips buck up at the sudden contact and he groans into the phone. I bite my bottom lip and start to slowly move my hand up and down his thick erection. His grunts and groans encourage me to continue.

“A-And-Andrew, I-I’m g-going to call you back!” Shawn rushes the words out and throws the phone somewhere in the room. His hips continue to buck to meet my movements and I speed up my movements. His breath becomes rapid and ragged as I move my thumb over the slit of his member.

Previn layers the tip and I rub my thumb in the in the slit in which I receive a hiss fro Shawn.

“Fuck! I hate how innocent you look and yet your a deadly tease when it comes to intimacy” Shawn utters before he hisses once again. I remove my my hand from his throbbing member and start to inch my thumb with Shawn’s precum towards my lips. Shawn hand yank me back by my ponytail as he watches me lick my thumb. I lick it as if it were a lollipop and keep my eyes on Shawn’s. He rolls his eyes back realsing my hair while he rubs his hands over his face.

“You’ll be the death of me Y/N” Shawn groans as he pulls at the end sod his hairs.

I let a smile take over knowing this wasn’t the time or place, but I couldn’t let a opportunity like this slip through my fingers.

“Say swear to god”

“Seriously?” Shawn groans while opening his eyes to me.

“Say it”

“I swear to god” I pull him in into a kiss without noting that his is slowly lifting me up. As the kiss continues a sudden pain is felt as Shawn thrust into me unexpectedly. I whimper into the kiss as the sudden penetration which halts the kiss. My head lays tucked near his neck as he lifts my legs onto the couch. I lost hum as the move at send a pleasure through my body as his erection slowly moves thrusts in me. A hand comes to my throat and gives a gentle squeeze while the other travels down my body leaving a path of goosebumps. The warmth of his touch adds a much needed arousal to my aching clit. The anticipation is killing me inside as Shawn traces my hip bones before making their way to my throbbing clit.

“So precious and only for me” he grins as his fingers open up my folds to gain contact with my clit. As soon as his fingers rub my clit I’m a withering mess on his lap. My eyes roll back as I desperately try to add friction and bounce myself on his erect member. I won’t last not like this. My legs are giving out on me, I’m so close and need a release.

“Stay open for me baby” Shawn growls into my ear as he has a tight hold around my neck. My moans arms muffled as he squeezes my throat to send me closer to the edge. His lips are on my leaving a dark mark that will be hard to hide tomorrow.

“So close Shawn!” I scream out as I few the heat building up in my abdomen. His breath is cold against my heated skin. There is a new sensation and I see Shawn thrusting his hips up in a taping pace without removing his assaults on my throbbing clit. My legs keep threading to close on me and Shawns separations then again. It’s like a small battle which I losing. Small sobs escape my lips as his fingers start to flick my clit over and over again. This could be a punishment and it would matter because anything he does is with care and love.

“Shhh.. it’s okay princess. Just let go-ahhh” I interpret Shawn as my orgasm washes over my sweat covered body. My abdomen muscles clench and I clench at the force of my orgasm. Shawn’s halts his thrusts and slowly rubs my clit to ride out my high. It feels like pure bliss, but the moment soon diminishes in thin air. Shawn expertly turned me over so I did a full circle on his erect member. Our chests touch and my hands place themselves on his shoulders. His hands trace down towards my waist he slowly moves me in a riding motion in.

“So precious, and I can’t get enough of you” I hum as I watch sweat run down his forehead. His lips part and soft grunts leave his mouth. Shawn’s neck vain is prominent as he moves my hips faster on his lap. His hands hold onto my hips harder surely to leave bruises. His abs clench together signaling his close, and watching him become out of breath throws me over the edge once again.

“Fuck!” Shawn groans outs as he halts my movements bucking his hips up uncontrollably as he orgasm washes over him. My head falls onto his sweat covered shoulder and I bite down on it as Shawn’s fingers place themselves once more in my sensitive clit. I whimper and whine as he starts to rub harder and faster.

“It’s okay baby…. just one more. I know you can give me one more, can’t you?” He whispers in my ear before trailing his lips down my neck. I hesitantly nod and before I know it my third orgasm washes over my body blurring my vision. My chest heaves up and down with the overstimulation. Shawn hands wrap around me and pull into his flushed body to try and calm me down. Tears fall down my cheeks when he rubs my back in soothing circles.

“I’m so sorry baby” he says over and over again as I shake my head against his neck.

“Don’t be Shawn” I tell him knowing that I could have used the safe word, but I haven’t felt this close to him in so long. There’s a loud knock on the door startling us both as we jump and try to dress ourselves. The knob on the handle moves and loud banging comes with it. Shawn runs to the door and opens it and sees Andrew with Geoff on the other side. So glad we locked the studio door, but they will never let me come along to one of Shawn’s studio sessions again.

“Hey” I come up behind Shawn and look at Andrew and Geoff then back at Shawn. Andrew looks at me and then Shawn as do I. My eyes go wide as I spot the bite mark I left on his shoulder. I smack Shawn repeatedly which cause him to look down at me. I forgot he wore a muscle tee today to the studio.

“Umm… Shawn you have a little something right here” Geoff points to Shawn’s shoulder and he touches it and hisses in pain. I look down in embarrassment as Andrew sends Shawn a glare. Geoff tries to stifle his laugh as Andrew pulls Shawn into the hallway to talk.

“You know I’m never going to let you guys live his down right?” Geoff tells me as he looks through Shawn’s prompts for new songs. He hums in appreciation as he lands on one. I look over his shoulder to read it “birth of desire.” My cheeks redden knowing there’s more to the title. The door opens and Andrew comes in with Shawn who looks irritated and embarrassed.

“Well we’ll let you get back to work Shawn and we mean the lyrics portion” Andrew comments leaving the rooms before Shawn has the chance to throw a pillow at him for is comment. Shawn sits down on the couch and rubs his face.

“So how are my chances for coming to another studio session?” I ask him while placing my head on his shoulder. He looks down at me and shakes his head before laughing.

“Andrew said ‘this is your last chance Shawn or we are only going to have songs related to sex’ but he’s not wrong” Shawn finishes causing me to send him a playful glare. I give him a kiss before pointing at his journal to continue writing lyrics for SM3. He groans before taking the journal and flipping through the pages to continue writing. He sends me his famous smile which causes me to my heart to flutter and butterflies to erupt in my stomach.

Before I deteted and reported this (though, you can’t really report anything anonymous on tumblr which I believe is a very big flaw), I wanted to call this person out first. 

How dare you. I know I’m not suicidal and fellow admin and mods probably aren’t either, but the question I ask myself is: what if we were? 

Every day I try to find the balance between acting on stupid anonymous questions/comments OR ignoring them. And I’ve gotten pretty good at ignoring them. But every now and then I come across a question or a comment that is so ridiculous that I have to answer it. And this is one of them.

It might be a joke to you or perhaps you’re too young to actually understand what it means. So this is why I’m telling you: it’s not a joke. 

You’re lucky I don’t even have any relatives that I lost due to suicide. And I hope you don’t ever experience that either. 

I wonder if this is a big deal, and it’s not. But it could be. And I honestly believe that, if you’re taking the time to send  a hateful message such as this one, you should evaluate your descisions and your life choices. I advice you to go find better hobbies. And also, if you really did think it was a joke, perhaps you should evaluate your sense of humor as well. 

-Emily 

Get Mentored!

I recently got the opportunity to meet with a bunch of premeds recently and besides remember the anxiety they radiate as a group (and I’m almost done with med school, poor things) but I also remembered that the one thing that would have made my journey infinitely less of a disaster and confusing was if I had a mentor.

Literally all of it. I was a mess y’all.

Anyways, I very quickly remedied this when I started medical school and I actually have multiple mentors now and people I can easily go to if I’m having trouble understanding the next step or if I’m feeling lost. It made such a big difference. Which is why I think everyone should get at least one mentor, especially if you plan on continuing education that has a lot of convoluted steps involved.  

While this is geared towards medical and other advanced education, I think these can work for anyone.

So here are some tips on how to get a mentor that works or you;

Who am I looking for?

You have a few options here, and fell free to utilize them all. The more the merrier. The ideal is someone a few steps ahead of you so they have enough experience to give you accurate, relevant and current advise, but not so far out they can’t remember exactly how to maneuver through your position. You’ll have a much easier time commiserating with this person since they went through what you’ve gone through not too long along without too many changes.

It is also worthwhile to have someone who has very significant experience but they may not be as easily accessible and be wary of when you’re doing things vs when they did things. Details tend to change quickly and someone, say, 20 years out of medical school won’t know the changes to application process to residency unless they’re directly involved with it or working with others in a similar position to you. That make sense?

And we certainly aren’t discounting people only a year or two ahead of you in your same program. It’s a goldmine of what classes to take, who to take them with, what resources to use, where to be and who to be seen by and all that jazz. So worth it.

How do I get a mentor?

The first step can be pretty intimidating because if you’re looking for someone who is ahead of you chances are you don’t know them super well, so asking them to be your guide on a very intimate process is scary. But don’t be discouraged, because it’s pretty easy to gauge when someone is willing to help you.

The first step is simply to ask. Ask in person, email, text, there’s no real wrong way to ask. The worst that can happen is they say they can’t do it. Thank them for considering it and move it. Someone will say yes eventually.

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll be offered help, which you can take or leave at your leisure. You might also be assigned a mentor. These are more to use at your discretion. 

Won’t I be bothering them with my questions?

Nope. If they’ve said yes to you, they’re giving you full passage to ask what you need when you need it. Could the answer come later than you hope? Sometimes. I mean personally, I’m usually really good about emailing my littles back right away but sometimes it takes more time than it should. I’m a busy nugget sometimes. But generally any form of communication will work, unless they specify. Then just stick to that. Easy.

What should I expect from my mentors?

Your mentor should have a healthy positive believe in your goals, but also help you coordinate your goals to your abilities. Early in the process, it can be hard to see beyond the big goal and match that up to the little milestones. Mentors can help guide you across those landmarks and what to expect with your performance or what needs to change so you can meet those goals.

A mentor should be able to give you tips and tricks to success that they’ve learned overtime. Some things may be obvious but others are almost little secrets that are invaluable. Plus they can let you know what times you should be aggressive vs passive because that’s such a tricky line to figure out on your own. 

They should give constructive criticism without making you feel stupid or naïve. A lot of this will be new to you and mistake are expected. So if you don’t know something they shouldn’t make you feel silly for not knowing. But you also need to learn to take their perspective into account without feeling personally attacked. It comes with time.

Finally, you should expect some type of positivity, especially if you’re feeling a bit down. They’re not your therapists so don’t go that far, but you are welcome to say you’re feeling stressed or lost. Most mentors I’ve had, known and as a mentor myself feel like a little encouragement goes a really long way. Even a grumpy grump mentor can say good luck and you’re doing a good job every once in a while.

What if my mentor doesn’t like me after we’ve gotten to know each other better?

The first thing you need to ask yourself is do you feel like they don’t like you or do you know they don’t like you. Because some people just aren’t naturally friendly and positive but are still very willing to help you. Just because someone isn’t a ball of encouragement doesn’t mean they think you’re gross. Likewise if they give you a lot of criticism it doesn’t mean your on the outs. Some go overboard, yes. But some people are just wired that way.

If you know they aren’t vibing with you, or ignoring you, or being unhelpful it is okay to cut your losses and move on. You can find someone else.

What if I don’t like my mentor?

This is a little trickier. If they’re driving you nuts and you can’t stand them, just explain some of your concerns and if you feel like it’s too much slowly bow out. It’s okay. Just don’t offended anyone, we tend to all be pretty connected in this world, especially in the small medical world so tread carefully.

If your mentor is helping you and giving you information that is useful what you might want to do is back away from frequent conversation and just stick to updates, periodic questions and thank yous. They don’t have to be part of your every choice and move. But if someone wants to help you, let them.

Can I consider my mentor my friend?

Yes.

Can you tell them all your personal problems? Ehhh, use your judgement about how close your relationship is before delving deep.

Can I be a mentor and mentee at the same time?

Yep, I do it all the time. I just need to help everyone do everything. Hence the medicine thing. But don’t take on more than you can chew. Start with something little if you want to mentor and work your way up. It’s not as easy as it looks some days. Essentially, know your limits.

My mentor is amazing! How do I let them know?

Say so! Show gratitude! Send little gifts (and you might even get some back), thank you notes, tell them in person! Mentors are people too and they won’t know if they’re doing what you need unless you say so.

To all the mentees yet to be born go find a mentor to watch over you. They’re out there, really to shower you with knowledge. You won’t be sorry.

lately, i pause at every ask game that’s on my dash and ask myself the same fuckin questions: do i have enough energy to answer asks right now? do i even have enough energy to send an ask to the person i’d be reblogging from?

the answer is always no and i always keep scrolling 

My student submitted the most disturbing “Living History” project I’ve ever seen 

By reddit user gretelcat

One of my least favorite parts about being a middle school history teacher is the bullshit “Living History” assignments we give at the end of every school year. Kids are supposed to sit with their grandparents and video tape, voice record, or transcribe their oldest memories for posterity (and for an easy way to bring up their GPA).

Keep reading

wingardium-letmefuckyou  asked:

Hey, I love your gods&monsters series, could you write something about Apollo? ^Preferably something with a positive vibe, something romantic... But that's totally up to you, anything about Apollo makes me happy

Apollo has many sons.

He only ever has nine daughters.

~

He has his first when he’s young, too young to know better.

Daphne is beautiful and coy, and leads him on a merry chase. He catches her, and finally silences her laughing mouth with his own. They sleep together, and she leaves bite marks up his neck.

Her father, the river god Peneus, finds out about them. Apollo had not known it was secret. Peneus is a hard, selfish god, and he slits Daphne’s throat for her impurity. Better a dead daughter then one who does not listen.

Apollo finds out too late. He arrives to Daphne dead on the side of her father’s riverbank, stomach swollen in a way Apollo doesn’t remember it being the last time he saw her, which was – which was – it couldn’t have been that long, could it?

He cuts open her stomach, throat too tight to call for his sister’s help, heart too tight to bear anyone else looking at Daphne’s slack, bloody face.

The child is still warm.

The child is still alive.

He cannot bring himself to bury Daphne, to sentence her to an afterlife beneath the earth. Instead, he transforms her into a large laurel tree, so her beauty will remain eternal. He presses a hand against her trunk and says, “My hair will have you, my lyre will have you, my quiver will have you.” Apollo looks down at the baby, too small, tucking into the crook of his arm. “Our daughter will have you.”

He calls her Calliope. Their daughter weaves laurel leaves into her hair every day of her life.

~

When he is older, but not wiser, he gets drunk on the top of Olympus. It is not the first time, nor the last, but this time it is different.

This time Hestia, goddess of the hearth, of warmth, of family, places her delicate hand around the back of his neck and leads him to her rooms.

Months later, he lands his chariot, the sun finally set. His arms are shaking, and his legs are covered from burns when the sun grew tired and tried to consume him, but could not. Hestia stands before him, something held in her arms. “What’s wrong?” he asks roughly, throat dry and the skin of his lips cracking. Hestia rarely leaves Olympus.

“I am no mother,” she tells him, and he doesn’t understand until she places a warm, squirming bundle in his arms. He holds it to his chest automatically. “Her name is Terpsichore.”

She leaves before he has the chance to question her. He looks down, and the baby has his golden eyes and her dark hair. “Hello, little one.”

Calliope is fully grown now. Apollo leaves Terpsichore in her care, and promises to come when called.

“Yes, Father,” Calliope says, rolling her eyes as her little sister grabbing fistfuls of her curly hair. There’s an ink smudge across her face, and her home is bursting with books. He should really talk to Athena about letting Calliope use one of her libraries.

He kisses both their foreheads before leaving.

~

Apollo falls in love with a Spartan prince, graceful and strong and with a wide, pretty mouth. He falls in love with a mind that can match him, with a smile that leaves him breathless. Hyacinth captures his affections and attentions utterly, and for a few short years Apollo is enchanted, for a few short years Apollo feels a love deep in his chest that is only surpassed by the love he has for his sister.

Then Hyacinth is killed.

He shows up at his daughters’ door, and Calliope and Terpsichore take one look at him and usher him inside. He can’t bring himself to speak, but he’s covered in blood that isn’t his own, is pale and shaken and mourning.

They clean him and care for him and settle him to bed, although he cannot bring himself to sleep.

Less than a week later, there is a mortal woman there looking for him. Her eyes are red, but she stands tall and her lips are pressed into a straight line. A toddler who shares her dark coloring clutches her skirt. “I am the Princess of Sparta, and wife of Hyacinth.”

Apollo hadn’t known Hyacinth had a wife. He hadn’t asked. Surely he would have noticed – but then again, perhaps not. Love makes people stupid. “I am sorry for your loss.”

“As I am sorry for yours,” she says in return, which surprises him. “Sparta must have a prince. I am to be remarried.” She brings the little girl forward, and she can’t be more than a couple years old. “This is Urania, the child of myself and my husband. I have been ordered to kill her.”

Apollo flinches. He knows such things are done, but – she is Hyacinth’s daughter. “I will take her.”

She smiles. “I thought you might.” She kisses the girl on both cheeks, hands her to Apollo, then leaves as quickly as she’d came.

Urania watches them with big liquid eyes that she got from her mother. He stays with his daughters for a year after that, playing with Urania and watching Terpsichore dance and listening to Calliope’s beautiful poetry. Urania loves the stars. She stares up at them each night, and Apollo patiently explains the name of each one.

When she is fully grown, he begs a piece of ambrosia off Hestia and feeds it to her.

Urania is his daughter as surely as if his blood ran through her veins. He cannot bear to watch her age and die.

~

Marpessa chooses Ida over him, but it is too late. She already swells with his child, and he could use that to keep her. He could force her to stay at his side, she loves him, she said so, it would not be such a cruel thing.

But she is not wrong in her assessment. Apollo is immortal, and will not grow old with her, will not change with her, will not die with her. Ida will.

There’s fear on her face, and he thinks she deserves it, for proclaiming to love him and choosing another. But he is not interested in keeping her captive for a lifetime.

“Have the child, and give it to me,” he commands, “and I will leave you to your life.”

Ida is furious in his jealousy that Marpessa will bear a child for Apollo before she bears a child for him, so there is that comfort, at least.

Artemis delivers the child to ensure it goes smoothly. She’s beaming as she holds her niece. “What will you call her?”

“You choose,” he says, running the back of his finger over the babe’s soft cheek.

His sister considers the squalling child for a long moment before she says, “I think you should name her Thalia.”

“Thalia it is,” he says.

She’s mischievous, and reminds him of himself on his worst days. She grows, and pulls pranks on nymphs and deities. Her older sisters are constantly straining to keep her out of worse trouble.

He gets a frantic message from Calliope that Thalia has gone missing, and he eventually finds her at the edge of a scorched battlefield, the soldiers long gone but the bodies and stench remaining. He’s furious at her for going to a place so dangerous, but when he marches up to her he sees something that he hadn’t expected.

She’s hallway through a story about pranking a wood nymph that he knows is at least half lies and a quarter exaggeration. Curled up on the ground, clutching his stomach as he laughs so hard he can’t breathe, is Ares.

Apollo hasn’t seen the tormented god of war this carefree since he was a child.

Thalia finally notices him, and cuts herself off, paling. “Oh, uh. Hi Dad.”

Ares is downright giggling. “Hello Thalia,” Apollo crosses his arms and glares, “You shouldn’t go wandering away from your sisters.” She winces and nods, ducking her head to look up at him through her eyelashes, doing her best to look contrite and innocent.

It might have worked, if Apollo hadn’t taught her that look himself.

He sits down on the ground next to Ares, who doesn’t acknowledge his presence beyond shifting enough to use Apollo’s thigh as his pillow. “Well,” Apollo says, “keep going.”

Thalia lights up and launches back into the story, and when she finishes she continues into another which is mostly true and somehow even more ridiculous.

~

Because he’s an idiot with a death wish, Apollo ends up spending a month with Hecate in the underworld. He stumbles out one night when she falls asleep, because he feels if he doesn’t leave now there’s a possibility that he never will.

One of the most horrifying moments of his life is looking for the way out, and finding Hades instead. The god of death looks to him, walking around naked in his realm, to the direction he came from, and says, “That was you? Are you crazy?”

“It … it was a good time,” he says faintly.

“Obviously,” Hades shakes his head, and slices his hand down in the air in front of them, creating a doorway for Apollo out of his realm.

Apollo gives him a clumsy salute and steps through.

Roughly a year later, he’s playing his lyre when a little girl with black skin and grey hair and eyes appears in front of him. It’s terrifying enough that he accidentally snaps one of his strings.

“Lady Styx,” he says, voice higher pitched than normal. “Is there something I can help you with?”

The child snorts and reaches her hands into absolutely nothing and pulls out a baby. She holds it out to him. “Hecate says this is your problem now.”

Improbably, the babe already has a mouth full of too-sharp teeth. Her eyes shift between every color, unable to decide, and there is something a little too knowing about her face for one so young. Artemis says he too was born knowing too much.

A child of Apollo and Hecate can only be a mistake, something that will never fit quite well among others of her own kind.

He sighs and take the baby. “Very well.”

“I like the name Clio,” the child goddess says before leaving him.

Thalia tells him it’s too small and to give it back. Urania is fascinated, and takes over most of the child’s care, which is likely for the best since Calliope is neck deep into a new epic, and would be cross if she needed to pull her attention from it to rear a child.

As Clio ages, she stays just as unsettling and strange. Hephaestus shows up around the time she starts breaking into Athena’s libraries, even though stunts like that get people worse than killed. “I don’t know why she gave her to me,” Apollo says as they watch the teenager devouring a stolen tome on the history of the Persian Empire. “Hecate raised you, I don’t understand why she didn’t want to raise her actual daughter.”

“You’re a better parent than she is,” he says thoughtfully. Apollo gives him an unimpressed look, but he says, “I’m serious. Your girls are turning out to be quite lovely – all of them.”

“Of course they are,” he says, nose in the air, but grins when Hephaestus elbows him the side.

By the time she’s an adult, Clio is easily one of the most accomplished scholars to ever exist. She and Athena regularly get into academic debates that last weeks, and scare off anyone from daring to come closer.

She stays strange, and too smart, and Apollo loves her utterly.

~

Apollo is lying on the beach when a large wave overtakes him and drags him into the sea. He struggles for the surface, but can’t seem to shake the waves, and is dragged to the sea floor. He’s a god, so he won’t suffocate, but he’s terrified when the water drags him down to Poseidon’s palace and deposits him in front of his wife. “Apollo,” she says, “I can see what your daughters will become.”

He has no idea what she’s talking about. “Excuse me?”

Amphitrite grabs his jaw and pulls him closer. He doesn’t dare resist. She looks into his eyes, then smirks. “The god of prophecy doesn’t know that which he has wrought. How … ironic.”

“Is it?” he wonders. He really hopes she doesn’t kill him.

“Quite,” she smirks, and with a flick of her wrist she’s naked before him. “I wish for one of your daughters to be mine as well. Lay with me.”

“Uh,” he says eloquently, because Amphitrite has never given her husband any children, he hadn’t even known she could. If he sleeps with her, Poseidon might kill him, regardless of how many people the god of the sea sleeps with that aren’t his wife. But if he refuses her, she might kill him, and it’s not like having sex with Amphitrite is any sort of hardship. She’s as gorgeous as she is terrifying. “Okay.”

He’s deposited back on the shore the next day, feeling oddly used.

If Poseidon has any opinions on Apollo knocking up his wife, he doesn’t voice them.

Amphitrite doesn’t foist the baby upon him as soon as she’s born. Instead years pass, and one day a dark skinned, amber eyed sea god shows up at his door. There’s a teenager at his side, who has Apollo’s coloring and Amphitrite’s bone structure, and hair that shimmers golden-green in sunlight. “Glaucus,” Apollo greets warily, “and who might this be?”

“I call her Erato,” Glaucus says, “I’ve raised her since birth. It’s time for her to join her sisters.”

Erato is not as terrifying as her mother. Instead there’s a sweetness about her that she must have gotten from Glaucus. She’s shy at first, and spends many days looking out into the sea. But his daughters are persistent, and soon she’s laughing and joining them. There’s something dreamy about her, and she loves love, writes romantic ballads and beautiful poems, so much so that Aphrodite commends her talent.

Erato is also the most like him in the area of her love life, meaning she leaves behind a constant trail of heartbroken men and women.

Calliope complains about the constant wailing around their home, and Clio proves she has some of her mother’s talent with magic when she casts an unplotable spell around their home so former lovers stop following Erato home. Of course, she forgets to tell both Apollo and her sisters about this, and it’s very confusing for everyone until Clio remembers to tell them where the house is.

His daughters’ home is a place of constant music, poetry, and literature. He thinks he’s starting to suspect what Amphitrite was talking about.

~

Not all hunts are easy things.

Apollo feels the moment his sister is wounded, the arrow through her abdomen as painful for him as it is for her. He’s in his chariot, and he can’t leave it, if he leaves his chariot unattended the sun will consume it, and then consume the earth. “Calliope!” he snaps, and his eldest daughter appears by his side.

“Father?” she asks, huddling into him and away from the sun. “What’s going on?”

“Artemis is hurt, I have to help,” he says urgently, and places the reins into her hands. “You can do this.”

She pales, but steps forward, keeping a white knuckled grip on the chariot. “Go.”

He kisses his forehead, and goes to his sister. Her huntresses have set up an honor guard around her, defending and dying as cruel faced giants draws closer. “ARES!” he screams, and he doesn’t know what they’re fighting for, what this war is about, but it doesn’t matter. “WE NEED YOU!”

The god of war appears, and he’s clearly come from some other battle, covered in mud and other worse things. He throws himself into the battle, but it’s not until they gain more aid that the tides turn in their favor.

He first sees Erato on the field, water swirling around her as she slices through them all, the power of her mother making her golden eyes glow. Clio is at her back, the glittering magic Hecate passed on to her filling her hands.

Thalia has long curved knives flying from her fingers, and all who face her don’t figure out they’re dead until she’s already left them behind. Urania is letting loose arrows against the giants and though she’s not his by blood, not a goddess by birth, none would know it watching each of her arrows hit true and take down another enemy.

Terpsichore uses her honed abilities of dance differently here on the battlefield, twirling and ducking around enemies with her sword flashing as it slices through all who go against her. Celestial fire licks up the sword, and the daughter of Hestia and Apollo is laughing as she dances through the battlefield.

He wants to yell at them, to tell them to get off the battlefield, to get to safety. But it is thanks to them that the fight is being won, so he says nothing.

Ares looks around, grimaces, and catches Apollo’s eye before he disappears from the battle. They must be invoking his name. Apollo is only grateful he managed to stay as long as he did.

The giants are all dead by the time Apollo manages to make it to his sister’s side. She’s pale and covered in blood, her huntresses seated around her and trying to stop the bleeding. “What were you thinking?” Apollo demands, grabbing her hand and pushing her hair from her forehead. Terpsichore comes forward and lays her burning sword against the wound, sealing and cauterizing it at once. Both Apollo and Artemis scream

“They – took – a – child,” she pants, leaning in for his touch, for his comfort, and he has never been able to deny her anything. He pulls her up, biting back a scream at the pain that rips through them both, and props her up against his chest. “A – nymph’s child. Zeus’s child. They killed – it’s mother. That – that sort of injustice will – will not be – tolerated.” She lays her head back against his shoulder, tears leaking from the corner of her eyes, and Apollo almost wishes the battle were not over, because he wants to murder something.

“I’ll get it,” Erato says, and a moment later she returns with a toddler in her arms. She has the copper skin of Zeus, and pale blonde hair. “What do we do now? Zeus does not care for his children.”

“I think it’s time you became a big sister,” Thalia says, and Erato looks stricken. “Right Dad?”

He looks to his sister, who nods. “I can think of no better place for her. She cannot stay with me – a hunting party is not place for children.”

“Very well,” he sighs. “Does she have a name?”

The girl attempts to hide behind Erato’s hair, then says, “I am Euterpe.”

“Welcome, Euterpe,” he says.

It’s then that the sun finally sets, and Calliope stumbles into existence next to them. She’s covered in deep, bleeding burns, but it’s not as bad he feared it would be. She’s certainly faired better at her first time driving the chariot than he had. “What’s happening? Is everything all right?”

“We have a new sister,” Thalia says brightly, even as Clio rushes forward to tend to her burns.

Euterpe, thankfully, seems to inherit none of Zeus’s madness. She has a singing voice like a clear bell, and soon surpasses even Calliope’s talent with the lyre.

He knows, technically, that Euterpe is his half-sister. But it takes him no time at all to regard her as his daughter, to love her with same simple ferocity as he loves her sisters.

~

For a while, all is well, is quiet. His daughters are all fully grown, accomplished and beautiful.

Then Demeter corners him when he’s walking through quiet city and pins him against an alley wall. “If Amphitrite thinks she can one up me over this,” the goddess hisses, “she’s sorely mistaken.”

At least this time he knows what’s going on when Demeter starts pulling her dress off. “You can’t raise the child,” he says. He’s not adverse to laying with Demeter, although at this rate it looks like there will be less laying and more standing against a rough alley wall. But Demeter only knows how to love in a way that crushes all it touches. He won’t let her do that to his child.

“Fine,” she snaps, “Now get moving.”

He’s vaguely terrified the whole time, and it mostly reminds him of his month with Hecate. He’s left alone and naked in the alleyway an hour later.

Nine months later, a baby is delivered to his door by a nervous wood nymph. His daughter still has the squashed appearance of a freshly born baby. “She didn’t waste any time,” he comments, settling her into the crook of his arms. “Does she have a name?”

“Polyhymnia, my lord,” the wood nymph says, then bows before fleeing.

He brings her to the home where all his daughters live.

She grows, and she’s the spitting image of Demeter, of Persephone back when she answered to the name Kore. Her voice is lower than Euterpe’s, but just as pretty and when they sing together it’s the most beautiful sound he’s ever heard. She’s quiet, and thoughtful, her big brown eyes watching all around her with a measured stare.

Polyhymnia asks after her mother, something none of the others had done, and Apollo doesn’t know what to say. The truth is too callous, but he can’t bear to lie to her. Instead he begs an audience with Persephone, and says, “Your sister asks after the mother you share. I don’t know what to tell her.”

Persephone has no advice to offer, but she starts spending some of her time outside of the underworld with Polyhymnia. It is enough, and her questions stop, and Apollo tries not to feel guilty that he never really answered them.

~

Cassandra is unlike any woman he’s ever met, unlike any person he’s ever met, and the flames of love and passion burn inside him in a way they haven’t since his Hyacinth died.

She’s bull headed and irritating, and whenever he tries to complain about it Artemis rolls her eyes and his daughters laugh at him. He supposes he’s not doing a very good job hiding that he’s in love with her. Not even from her, because at one point she crossly asks if he’s ever planning to do anything with her, or if she should accept the offer from the butcher’s son.

They don’t leave her house for five days.

She is curious, hungry for knowledge, hungrier for it then she is of him. She wants to know impossible things, wants to be an impossible thing, and so Apollo laughs and takes her hand and says, “I will make you a bargain. I will give you the gift of prophecy, if you will grant me the gift of your hand.”

He’s never take a bride before. He hasn’t wanted to.

Cassandra is screaming and laughing, and she throws her arms around his neck and kisses him until she’s breathless. He takes it as a yes.

That’s when everything goes horribly, incredibly wrong.

It’s too much, all the horror she sees is too much, and Apollo tries to tell her to focus on the good, to see the happiness of the future. But she can’t, gets too caught up in too many wars, and she wastes away in front of his eyes even as her stomach swells.

He tries to take back the gift, tries to save her, but he can’t. It cannot be ungiven, and his headstrong, vivacious lover fades before his eyes. He only manages to alter it, to change it so no one believes the horrible things she cries to prevent the horror people feel when she looks at them and screams the way that they’ll die.

Artemis helps deliver their child, but halfway through her face goes pinched and worried, and Apollo knows that Cassandra won’t make it.

“I’m sorry,” he weeps, kissing her gaunt face, feeling the sharpness of her cheekbones under his lips, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t know this would happen. I didn’t want this to happen.”

She looks at him with glassy eyes, barely reacts when Artemis places their child on her chest. There’s a growing pool of blood under her, but she can’t be saved, she will die, here, now.

Apollo wonders if she saw this coming.

She blinks, and meets his gaze with a sharpness and awareness he hasn’t seen for a long time. “She is your last daughter,” Cassandra says, “Melpomene is the last daughter you will have.”

He kisses her, his last chance to do so.

She’s dead before his lips leaves hers.

Apollo tries to flee, to run from the claws tearing apart his heart, but Artemis doesn’t let him. She yanks him back and pushes Melpomene into his arms. “You can’t leave,” she says harshly, “She needs you. Your daughter needs you. You’re not allowed to run.”

He crumples, leaning his head onto his sister’s shoulder as he sobs, and her calloused hand grasps the back of his neck. Melpomene is stuck between them, soft and warm and alive.

Time passes.

Melpomene is Thalia’s other half, her best friend, and they do everything together. Her dark hair is a mass of unruly curls just like her mother, her laughter is just like her mother’s.

She, like her sisters, is his pride and his joy.

~

Apollo has nine daughters

Calliope, who reigns over written epics.

Terpsichore, who reigns over dance.

Urania, who reigns over astronomy.

Thalia, who reigns over comedy.

Clio, who reigns over history.

Erato, who reigns over love poetry.

Euterpe, who reigns over song.

Polyhymnia, who reigns over hymns.

Melpomene, who reigns over tragedy.

They are known as the Muses.


gods and monster series, part xxi

read more of the gods and monsters series here

because you’re a different person.
because you don’t feel the same way anymore.
because we’re growing apart more every day.
because i’m scared to tell you how i feel.
because i think you’re only staying since it’d be easier than leaving because you tell me you love me but i don’t feel the same want and warmth now.
because i cried and begged and poured my heart out– left everything out on the table and you ignored all of it so easily.
because i think i’m being crazy and insecure and imagining things, but am i?

how did we go from laying in bed with my face buried in the nook of your arm, crying while you held me and told me things would be different this time. that it would be hard but you wanted me and us and a future together. that you loved me and we were partners and we would grow through life.

now i’m laying here wondering why i even told you what was bothering me. you brushed it off, made me feel like i was overreacting or being the crazy girlfriend. we didn’t even talk today. we don’t talk much anymore. maybe it is my fault. i didn’t see it happen, things were good and slowly we just stopped having things to say to each other.

how else do you react when you feel like you’re losing someone that’s supposed to be your person? i fought for him and our relationship– so he stayed. except i keep thinking back on everything i said and the silence i got in return. and it hurts and it scares me that he feels distant now. so i tell myself i am overreacting, i’m asking for too much. but he used to love that, he used to tell me he loved it when i texted him constantly, tell me sweet things throughout the day. i loved it. i miss it.

the moment i begin to feel insecure and doubt the other persons’ feelings, that’s when all hell breaks loose. thoughts race in my mind, jumping from conclusion to conclusion without a break.

i never had to question it before, that’s why i’m so terrified now. i thought telling him would make me feel better, but his reaction wasn’t what i’d expected.

he used to want to know what was going on in my mind, reassure me of my doubts. things aren’t the same anymore. i’m scared that it won’t be again. i’m not sure how to fix this. i love him more than anything and as much as i can’t stay with someone who doesn’t love me, i can’t bear to leave.

—  aftertheam 
1930s Animation: How it came about, What happened to it, What it influenced.

Hey guys! So recently as I’m sure a lot of you know, the 1930s style of animation has made a resurgence in the forms of Bendy and the Ink Machine and Cuphead! So I’m just making this to show where it comes from c:

Before you start though, I’ll be mentioning Max Fleischer in this post, and you can find out more about his life in the book Out of the Inkwell. I don’t have it myself as I’m pretty poor, but I’d love to read it soon <3

Was It Walt Disney?

It depends on what kind of style you’re thinking! Walt Disney’s work began with an animation known as Alice’s Wonderland (1923).

which, looking onto his future works, is a lot more different. The cartoon look is there; however, those famed Pac-Man eyes aren’t, neither are the rubberhose limbs and thick black characters. Those came into his work later on with his Mickey Mouse shorts such as Plane Crazy (1928) and the first animation to feature synchronized sound, Steamboat Willie (1928). The bouncy animation is there, squashing and stretching all the characters and objects!

Though, Steamboat Willie was actually not the first animation to feature Synchronized sound! That would be credited to  “Oh, Mabel, Mother, Pin a Rose on Me” (1924) (Which I actually can’t find…Here’s the song though!) and later on, My Ole Kentucky Home (1926).

There is a lot of…Drama….surrounding the relationship between the studios of Disney and Fleischer, but this isn’t going to be about that (though I may touch on it), I would definitely recommend looking it up though, it’s very fascinating.

Around this time, the scary looking Lip-Sync animation started to come along and the styles were fairly similar, though the Fleischer Car-Tunes were a lot more, in my opinion, clean, however didn’t fully stretch their characters as much as Disney had been doing later on.

Who are Fleischer Studios?

Fleischer Studios first opened around the 1920s as Inkwell Studios. It was created by brothers Max and Dave Fleischer, whom were Born and Raised in Poland. In 1914, Max Fleischer created the Rotoscope, a device that could allow the animator to create smoother productions as they had been drawn over Filmed reference.

Using this Process, they created the Out of the Inkwell (1918 - 1929) series, starring Koko the Clown!

Max included a lot more Live Action in his animations than Walt Disney and even revolutionised the way it worked due to his own inventions, including The Stereoptical Process (which I’ll show more on later), that gave him a good edge forwards during their prime. However, due to A Series of Not Quite Fortunate Events, he never quite overcame Disney and, unfortunately, his studio met a sad end. 

What other Cartoons did they make?

Fleischer Studios made a surprising turn with bringing in Less Live action footage over time and creating more Lovable characters such as Bimbo The Dog and Betty Boop (1931). (Betty Boop being another can of worms entirely with the problems her design created and the blow it dealt the studio)

It was around this time that people could start to notice the style’s true beginnings. The famed Eyes had begun to appear, the Clearly Animated Flat props and characters over the detailed painted environments, and the rubberhose stretchiness of their movements.

Bringing in Cuphead as reference, both Hilda Berg and Cala Maria were heavily inspired by Betty boop’s design as mentioned by Studio MDHR’s Jake Clark in their GDC (Game Developer Conference) talk, which I’d definitely recommend watching.

Besides these characters, perhaps one of their other most Well known characters was Popeye the sailor man! featuring Sinbad, a character I’m fairly sure inspired the design of Cuphead’s Captain Brinybeard.

In this animation you can see every part of the style’s inspiration. The watercolour backgrounds, the flat Cel characters and their stretchy, rubbery movements, and, shown in the image above, the Two-Tone Technicolor process (A secret in Cuphead for those who don’t know). This was another issue between Disney and Fleischer, as well as their own Financial problems with Paramount Pictures, so they had to resort to using cheaper methods, resulting in the above image being created by layering a negative-spaced film reel through red and green filters (basically, it was complicated back in the day, no easy layers then).

I’d definitely recommend looking up more Fleischer cartoons too if you’d like inspirations for your own works or for the animation practise, such as Swing you Sinners (1930) which I honestly think is one of the biggest influences in terms of the recent style too!

Why does Disney have this style in their animations now?

Honestly I couldn’t tell you that myself, as personally I myself am not really a huge Disney fan. Considering his past with the studios he worked in or rivalled, I never really had a soft spot for him. However, I like to hope that he took inspiration from Max Fleischer. Max was unfortunately met with the worst circumstances with working under Paramount Pictures, The Great Depression hugely hitting his work, and his relationship with his brother Dave deteriorating. (honestly I wish this studio was still here and Paramount not).

You could say the style was stolen, or developed, or inspired, being shown in Mickey Mouse’s more updated designs as well as just a general staple of “Old Animation” with the eyes and Thick Black characters. Either way, it’s the fact Fleischer inspired generations with the little miracles he created that is the important thing. I wish people would stop attributing these qualities initially refined by Fleischer to Walt Disney and giving him more credit than he deserves, but that’s just my own opinion. 

Should we keep making animation in this style, or move on?

Please keep making things in the old rubberhose animation styles. Yes it’s an old aesthetic and yes it’s not…the best out there, but it’s an incredibly endearing look that I think is a love letter to the old days of animation. 

You will get those who pick at the details of how it doesn’t fit quite with the style (With Bendy being a victim, his proportions and shapes being very inaccurate if put into the Fleischer/Old Disney style), however, it’s how you bring that style and adapt it to the modern world, how you make it so that you’re not merely just going by the original rules of how you create these characters and worlds. Yes, Cuphead strictly stuck to these details as beautifully as possible, but Bendy was, though I’m not a fan of his design myself, a great addition and evolution of the style into the modern day.

As nice as it is to remember these styles for when they came from and what they were inspired by, it’s always nice to know it’s just that, a style. You can continue to create in that style as much as you want!

However, if you ever want to say/credit where the style came from, though Disney did create a style similar to this and adapted some of its individual aspects into their work later on after, the Vast majority of it comes from Fleischer Studios. It’s a common misconception, but an understandable one considering the studio no longer exists and how popular Disney is.

If you ever have more questions about it, go ahead and ask! I’d love to research more about animation and give you information on any specifics within the studio, the troubles they faced within themselves/with eachother or other studios that were present back then :D <3

ew.com
Louis C.K. breaks silence in lengthy statement: 'These stories are true'
“There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for”

Here is C.K.:

I want to address the stories told to The New York Times by five women named Abby, Rebecca, Dana, Julia who felt able to name themselves and one who did not.

These stories are true.  At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them.   The power I had over these women is that they admired me.  And I wielded that power irresponsibly.
I have been remorseful of my actions. And I’ve tried to learn from them. And run from them. Now I’m aware of the extent of the impact of my actions. I learned yesterday the extent to which I left these women who admired me feeling badly about themselves and cautious around other men who would never have put them in that position.

I also took advantage of the fact that I was widely admired in my and their community, which disabled them from sharing their story and brought hardship to them when they tried because people who look up to me didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t think that I was doing any of that because my position allowed me not to think about it.

There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for. And I have to reconcile it with who I am. Which is nothing compared to the task I left them with.

I wish I had reacted to their admiration of me by being a good example to them as a man and given them some guidance as a comedian, including because I admired their work.

The hardest regret to live with is what you’ve done to hurt someone else.  And I can hardly wrap my head around the scope of hurt I brought on them. I’d be remiss to exclude the hurt that I’ve brought on people who I work with and have worked with who’s professional and personal lives have been impacted by all of this, including projects currently in production: the cast and crew of Better Things, Baskets, The Cops, One Mississippi, and I Love You Daddy. I deeply regret that this has brought negative attention to my manager Dave Becky who only tried to mediate a situation that I caused. I’ve brought anguish and hardship to the people at FX who have given me so much The Orchard who took a chance on my movie. and every other entity that has bet on me through the years.
I’ve brought pain to my family, my friends, my children and their mother.

I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want.  I will now step back and take a long time to listen.

Thank you for reading.

There’s Nothing Wrong With You

One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard was “There’s nothing wrong with you”. 

It was a Monday morning and I was relaxing with friends in a hotel pool after playing Lollapalooza. A lady bobbed opposite me sipping a ginormous glass of rose, and we started chatting. She was a stylist and told me that, when her clients tried outfits on and looked at themselves in the mirror, she would tell them “There’s nothing wrong with you”. I asked her why and she said, “because we all think there’s something wrong with us ”. It was such an odd, simple notion, but I felt like a little flower had opened up inside of me. It hadn’t occurred to me that it could be a universal feeling. There was always something so wrong with ME, I hadn’t considered that other people might feel the same. The comment stuck with me like glue for the next year. 

Illustration by Lan Truong

 I lived most of my life feeling like there was something deeply wrong with me. Everything I did was somehow geared towards fixing the parts of myself I thought were bad or ‘broken’. There was also an odd safety in being broken. I could quietly blame it for anything that went wrong in my life: “It’s not my fault: I’m f**ed up and I am very sorry!”. For a while, I had counselling, and though it was extremely helpful, I started to feel uneasy at the idea of chatting about my problems, potentially for years, if I chose to. Like, really… When would I be fixed?

For me, life =  Experiences + reactions to those experiences. The only power I have is choosing how I react to them. So, though I might have uncomfortable emotional reactions, I can choose to a) accept these emotions, instead of resisting them, and b) not interpret my thoughts as the Solid Gold Truth. Whatever your problems may be, (diagnosed or not), they don’t equate to you being broken. In my own life, it’s been unhelpful to think of mental health problems in this way, particularly when you’re struggling. You are who you are at this moment in time, and you’re doing your best. Brains are plastic. People can, and do, change.

Illustration by Lolrel

  If you follow my music, it probably won’t come as a big surprise to know that I’ve dealt with mental health issues for a long time. There have been 3 things that have helped me decrease periods of depression though. For anyone in the same position, I hope this helps.

1. Meditation

This changed my mind + my life. I started doing meditation in 2013 after Electra Heart had ended. I was burnt out and desperate for change. I took no classes, read no books - just looked at a 5 minute explanation on the internet. I didn’t even do it every day. Just 20 minutes in the morning or evening. In the beginning, I felt a little dubious about the idea of “wasting 20 whole minutes” on meditation each day. But here’s the thing: Meditation is like a vacuum for your mind. It sucks up all the dust and rubbish thoughts. I can easily waste 20 minutes looking at something on the internet that I’ll never think about again, so I can invest 20 minutes in something that changes the quality of my life. This blog described Meditation as “one of the best responses to modern information overload”. I truly believe it can be an antidote to our digital lives.

Illustration by Lolrel 

2. Exercise

I know, I know. When you’re depressed, the last thing you want to do is go outside INTO THE REAL WORLD! But if you’re bottom-of-the-barrel depressed, you have nothing to lose. For years I loved to declare that I “didn’t have a body that could run”  (in order to escape ever having to actually run). But when I start meditation, the negative thoughts about myself decreased and I started to want good things for myself. The motive of exercising was not to lose weight, so it had a different energy to it.

3. Identifying With Thoughts

The reality is, I still deal with depression, but my reaction to it is different. I am more aware of its mechanisms so I don’t take my thoughts as seriously. I try not to identify with a thought and interpret it as truth just because it came into my mind. Why? Because the way I think and respond to events is largely based on my past experiences, so how can I know that my thoughts are my own and not coloured by my past? This is why I don’t always trust my thoughts, particularly when they are of the negative variety. A book I hugely recommend on this is called “Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. 

I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time for people who struggle with similar issues. Our culture has taught us to see happiness as some kind of end goal, but for me, the best thing about it is that it doesn’t stick around forever. Human beings need to experience some level of suffering in order to evolve emotionally and consciously. And though depression often feels like you’re stuck, or stagnating, it can also be a healthy way of your mind telling you that something isn’t quite right, and that it’s in the process of changing. We tend to view sadness as something unnatural, or negative, but perhaps viewing it as a necessary process might help us accept the low periods, and move through them more easily.

Before writing my last album, I honestly thought that I had just been born unhappy and that depression was a permanent part of me. I don’t believe that anymore. When I was writing ‘FROOT’ I felt like I was kissing goodbye to a big chapter of my life. That portion of my youth was heart-splitting and lonely at times, but it was also dazzling and beautiful. And that’s how life is for a lot of us. If only I’d known all those years that it was just part of being human.

Ask a question or share a thought here.  

Love, Marina

vulpixenthusiast  asked:

Dude srsl how did u get soo goooddd? Like, how long did it take until u finally reached a point where you could clearly see the progress in your work? Did you have a routine like, 1 drawing per day or..? I could rlly use some insight and inspiration tbh you have amazing skills

Shoot, that’s a tricky question.  Nowadays, I can only notice improvement between pieces six months or so apart, but when I started I think I noticed skills developing after just 2-3 months.  To be entirely fair I was doing 1-3 pages of studies/imagination pieces in a sketchbook every day–fyi, I had no other extracurriculars throughout high school which meant lots of free time.  

I started studying near the beginning of sophomore year (September or October), so this would have been around January or February.  Of course, the progress was pretty minor, but I was honestly just so relieved that I wasn’t stagnating anymore that it gave me a burst of motivation to keep drawing.  

One note I need to make, for anyone else reading this–if you’re beginning to study right now or if you’ve recently begun to study, try your very best to draw every single day for these first 6 months or so.  If you make drawing a habit (that is, a part of your lifestyle), it is extremely difficult to stop permanently.  During multiple parts of my senior year, I would be unable to draw more than once every week or two because of college apps and studying for tests/APs/finals, but I still had zero trouble getting back into drawing once I had the time (mainly because I craved the hell out of it on the days I couldn’t draw).

During my sophomore year, however, if I didn’t draw for more than two or three days, I would encounter two serious problems: 1, my skills would seem to atrophy (it would be difficult to control my lines, and I couldn’t visualize things in 3D space unless I took hours to warm up– this in itself was pretty discouraging); and 2, I wouldn’t have the motivation to draw anything.  Not drawing for even a short period of time would give my mind other things to focus on, and it took a fair amount of discipline to push myself back into my routine.  

Office-mate who loves CNN but doesn't understand how televisions work is destroyed by that which she loves most.

I work in a small office with only 6 people. The way the office is broken up I share my office with another person, so we’re essentially facing each other. It’s away from the other offices, so we’re kind of left to our own devices. I’ve been working here for about three years now, and have always gotten along with my office-mate. My old office-mate left to start a family, so I’ve been alone for a bit before they hired Marge.

Marge is what you’d find if you googled “worst office-mate.” She brings in smelly food she eats at her desk, she plays loud music in our shared space (even after being asked not to), she fights with the boss on every little thing, she’s nosy (always asking me where I’ve been when I walk back into the office, and I’ve literally caught her listening in at the bosses door). She asks me invasive questions, and when I finally snapped at her to mind her own business she acted like I’d personally assaulted her.

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Eight Months.

Even eight months after the break up, Harry still felt the overwhelming urge to check up on you and your life. He would check your social media accounts a few times a week, more so before going to bed when thoughts of you plagued his mind. It felt naughty, wrong in a way; after all, it was him who ended your two year relationship.

*

“It’s never going to change, Harry! Things will always be the same! You ‘forgot’ my birthday and you spent the day with Kendall. You ‘forgot’ our date night and you spent the evening with Cara. I know it’s what the media want and expect from you, and I know management want you to do this, but I think you want to as well” you sigh, the words you had held for so long in your mouth now finally spilling out.

“You’re joking, right? That was a joke? You seriously think I want to spend any spare time I have with Kendall or Cara over you? Management need me to do this, if I don’t, I can kiss goodbye to my pay cheque! Half the things I do in this job is for you! How the fuck else would you get the latest handbags and purses and shoes?! Who else is going to pay for your education? Because I don’t see you or your family offering to cough up!” he spits almost bitterly.

You gasp in shock at his words. He knew your financial situation at home and that your parent’s worked so bloody hard to provide for you, but it just wasn’t enough. Your future career depended on your qualifications, and those qualifications could only be acquired in higher education in which Harry had offered to pay for, before he knew anything about the money side of things.

“Really, Harry? That’s how you feel? You think I’m with you for the money? I don’t give a damn about the shoes or bags and purses or latest fashion trends. I love you because you’re my boyfriend and I see myself living the rest of my life with you. I don’t love you because you’re Harry Styles from One Direction!” you spit back, your words truthful.

“I’ve heard that one before” he tells you, his eyes averting to the floor.

“So now you’ve got trust issues with me? Other girls may have treated you like that in the past, but I’m not like other girls, Harry. Two years we’ve been together and you really think that of me? When you guys broke up as a band, and you didn’t know what was going to happen to your music career, who was the one sitting up with you every night holding you whilst you cried? Other girls would have run a mile because of the uncertainty of your future. I love you even if you have nothing!” you shout at him.

Harry shrugs his shoulders and bites his lip. “Look, it’s not even just this causing arguments. They’ve been going on for a while and maybe having Kendall and Cara as friends is something you can’t handle. But I can’t live my life like this anymore. I’m done arguing with you all the time” he tells you softly.

“You’re making it sound like I don’t want you having friends, which isn’t true. I want you to put me first, like you did at the start of our relationship. You would have done anything back then for me, Harry. I hate arguing with you too. Maybe if we arrange some sort of schedule and arrange dates in advance to see each other?” you suggest.

Harry shakes his head. “I think it’s too little too late, (Y/N).”

You frown, your bottom lip beginning to quiver as you ask the dreaded question. “Are you breaking up with me.”

Harry’s eyes avert to the floor once more and the silence between you both speaks more volumes than words ever could.

*

Your Instagram account had been almost inactive for the first month after the break up, with only the occasional bog-standard photos of new make-up purchases and Starbucks coffee. But no selfies and nothing that indicated any happiness in your life. After three months, your social media accounts portrayed some happiness returning to your life as you took selfies with friends on regular nights out, but Harry knew as well as anyone that social media is one massive cover up for reality. Were you really actually happy? Were you living or were you just alive?

It seemed to him that your life continued to appear happy, but after four months of opening the app, he noticed someone by your side. Photograph after photograph, upload after upload, this person would be stood next to you. You had a side when taking photos with Harry, but now somebody else was standing on Harry’s side, taking his place, standing where he should be standing. Then tagging each other on Twitter began taking place. Simple things such as “coffee dates” and memes.

Five months after the messy break up, Harry sighted a picture of the two of you kissing; you and your new beau, as it was publicised. Your lips on his, no doubt his tongue down your throat and he wanted to vomit. It didn’t make social media, but it made the headlines in the news. The media had left you alone a little while after the break up, but of course, a new relationship for you meant gossip amongst the public, especially One Direction fans and Harry girls, and the tabloids couldn’t resist the opportunity.

Upon reaching seven months, Harry noticed another change in you on social media. You were becoming more and more inactive by the day, rarely replying to tweets and the amount of photographs posted reduced. Anybody else would put it down to business in studying and spending time with loved ones, but Harry knew how much you had loved your interactions on social media, and something didn’t sit quite right with him. But then he remembered that he’s not yours and you’re not his, and you have someone else taking care of you now.

*

Eight months later, and Harry still had you on his mind almost every minute of the day. He would awake in the morning with the help of his alarm but your hair wasn’t sprawled across the pillows as he would expect; he no longer bothered eating breakfast in the mornings; gone are the days when he used keep something warm on the stove for you, for when you awoke, ensuring you had something warm for your hungry tummy in the mornings; he had nobody to send a morning text to. His routine was completely out of sync and nothing over the last few months made it any better.

He would come home every evening to an empty apartment. He had nobody to cook dinner for. He had nobody to talk to about his day. He had nobody to snuggle up to at night. He had nobody to kiss. He had nobody to love and he had nobody to love him.

Some nights would be simple; Harry would climb into bed and flick on the television, watching a favourite film in which he no longer got pleasure out of. He’d check his social media, and then check yours, before setting his alarm and falling asleep, his dreams of you haunting him throughout the night.

Other nights, he’d yearn for you. He loved you, still loves you, and wants nothing more than to hold you whilst you sleep and keep you safe in his embrace. But he would yearn for you in other ways too, awakening in the night from happy dreams of you, his cock hard for you. He would lay awake between the sheets, grinding his hips into them and rubbing himself vigorously as he imagined being inside of you. He would let himself go completely when he could imagine the moans that would leave your lips, the breathlessness you would encounter, and it was as though he could almost feel you come around him.

He hadn’t been in another relationship since the split, but there had been a couple of one night stands. In a way to get over you, ironically, he would fuck others that had similar traits to you. The same hair colour, the same laugh, the same smile. But neither of those girls were you. He didn’t really want them, they just happened along with the alcohol consumption of both parties involved. After two girls, he stopped. He wasn’t sure if it was the reality of the situation that made him stop, or if it was the slap he received one night.

*

The music was pounding against the speaker, the DJ’s were screaming out and giving shoutouts, mostly for people’s birthday’s and other celebrations, bartenders were leaning over the bar in an attempt to actually hear what the customers were ordering in the club, and everyone was like sardines, squashed together, but everyone seemed to be enjoying it and having a good time. Everyone except Harry.

He occasionally moved around and shuffled his feet in an attempt to dance, but he felt so lost without you there. He kept an eye out to see if you were around, almost forgetting that you didn’t go there together. He always used to keep an eye on you, making sure you were safe on the dance floor and that no drunken men took advantage of you. He was your protector. 

“What’s your name?” a young blonde asked. That was the only thing that was same about the two of you. You’re blonde and so was she. But she wasn’t you. Harry wasn’t too sure if she was just acting oblivious to the fact that he was the most famous, most well-known person in the club, or whether she was just so drunk that she barely knew her own name, let alone his.

“Harry” he told her, placing his hand on the small of her back and pulling her closer so as they could hear each other’s spoken words over the thumping music.

The girl nods. “Louise” she tells him. “Fancy getting out of here?” she asks. 

Harry nods. He realises she’s not as drunk as he thought she was, but taking in her features, she looked a few years older than him. Maybe she really didn’t know who he was.

“Mine or yours?” she asks as they stumble out of the nightclub and onto the streets of London. Louise quickly hails a taxi as Harry replies, “yours.”

Whilst his own place seemed more appealing as he wouldn’t have the awkward ‘leaving after a shag’ stage, he didn’t want to take her, or anyone, to his bed. Only you got the privilege to be in his bed. He didn’t fuck anyone else in his bed, only you. He didn’t want anyone else to come in the sheets besides the two of you together and for each other.

The taxi ride back to hers was soon over and they stumbled through her apartment, his lips pressed to hers. Their eyes remained closed as he thought about you. Undressing you. Running his hands up and down your body and caressing your breasts as you laid all bare for him, for his eyes only.

Harry breathlessly pulls aways as he lifts up the miniskirt. They both quickly realise this is nothing more than sex up against the wall. She’s not taking him to bed either, and Harry wonders if Louise is also getting over someone. Within the next thought, he doesn’t care. He does’t love Louise. He loves (Y/N).

The blonde grabs at his belt, unbuckling it and unzipping his trousers, his length exposed to her. He quickly reaches into his back pocket before letting his trousers drop and rips open the packaging. Covering himself with the latex, he soon pushes himself into her. She gasps, taking him in, before moving quickly against him.

They’ve both been drinking and he knows his performance will be affected greatly, so he’s not surprised when he quickly comes inside of her, moaning her name. She gasps and he withdraws from her quickly. Before even getting the chance to dress himself, her hand collides with his cheek.

“Louise! I told you my name is Louise!” she yells at him angrily.

And in that moment, he realises that he moaned your name when he came.

*

He arrived home from the studio and continued his evening rituals. No work the following day meant he could have a later night and whilst he was glad to be able to sleep in later and not have the demands of an alarm clock, he knew from experience that on a day off where he lacked a busy schedule, you would be on his mind more than ever.

The night passed with Harry doing nothing more than eating his evening meal and lounging around in front of the television, flicking through channels to find something to entertain him for a few hours. He occasionally reached for the bottle of whiskey, pouring himself small measures each time. Whilst the drinking had become a regular habit a few months back, Harry had realised that drowning his problems with alcohol helped nobody, not even himself, and he kicked the habit almost as quickly as it had started. No amount of alcohol got you out of his head.

The comedy shows provided some entertainment, and whilst there were a few forced laughs, Harry did find some of the jokes genuinely funny. He couldn’t remember the last time he laughed properly.

Tapping his watch with a yawn, he checked the time. Flicking off the television set, he threw the remotes back on the sofa and picked his body up from the position he had been in for hours. A loud, repeated knock on the door made him jump slightly. The banging got harder and more frantic and he could only wonder who would be calling in on him at this hour. “Alright, I’m coming!” he yelled in frustration. Couldn’t his unwanted and unwelcome guest wait two minutes?!

Heading into the hallway, he unlocked the door, pouting his lips to express his emotion, making sure the person on the other side of it knew he was angry at the disturbance and the complete lack of respect for him and his property. As far as they were aware, he may well have had work the next morning. Swinging the door open,  he gasps, taking in the demeanour of the person standing in front of him, the sight almost killing him as bile rose in his stomach and a nauseous feeling took control of his body.

Snap Decision

(A chance meeting with a stranger at a bar helps you recover from a bad breakup.)

Warnings: 11000+ words of mostly sex stuff.  Bad ex boyfriends. People doing inadvisable things.  Listen up kids: in real life you should be more cautious about who you let take naked pictures of you! Lots and lots of sex.  If you’ve read my stuff before, you know the drill.  


You thought it would be fun to work in sales after you graduated from university; you would travel around the country, meeting new people, holding meetings in fancy high rise office buildings in big cities, wining and dining clients at gourmet restaurants while you closed deals and made boatloads of money.  The reality was that you were selling industrial wastewater management systems, making a moderate income, while traveling four days a week to factories and chemical refineries in some of the least glamorous locations on earth.  You didn’t mind the work itself, but the evenings alone in small town hotel rooms were dull and disheartening, so you would frequently head out to a local movie theater or neighborhood bar to distract yourself from the loneliness on the road.   

 It was pouring down rain outside and you decide to run to the closest place you could find to grab a drink, rather than risk driving around and getting lost.  That’s how you found yourself sitting alone at the bar of the Applebee’s restaurant that was adjacent to your hotel, sipping on something called a Blue Hawaiian, in a town you couldn’t even remember the name of.   

Unruly children sat with their families having dinner in the nearby booths, while innocuously bland pop songs played overhead.  You took one sip of the cloyingly sweet blue cocktail in front of you and immediately regretted your decision to come here tonight. Given the lousy week you had experienced, you would have been better off drinking cheap whiskey at a dive bar filled with unapologetic alcoholics.  Here, the family friendly atmosphere mixed with the empty promises of a fruity cocktail that was designed to trick you into thinking you were on a tropical island vacation instead of in your real life.  Your real crappy life. 

You had totally blown the sale today.  The clients had a million questions about the technical specifications of the products you were trying to sell, but you kept tripping over your words and making yourself sound like an idiot.  You blamed your poor work performance on lack of sleep.  And you blamed the lack of sleep on your boyfriend, David.  Actually, he was your ex-boyfriend now.  After more than a year together, you dumped him for cheating on you.  

He claimed he was faithful, but you were certain he was lying.  He never picked up his phone when you called him from out on the road.  He would eventually call you back, but his stories about where he was and what he was doing always sounded a little off.  The final blow came when your friend Stephanie told you she saw him going into a movie theater with another girl.  David claimed Stephanie was mistaken and that you were just paranoid and jealous for no reason.  You wanted to believe him, but deep down you were sure that Stephanie was right.  All the unresolved questions you had about what David was doing while you were working could easily be answered if he had been cheating on you.  David cried when you told him it was over, he begged you to reconsider, but you were resolute and just walked away.

That had been a week ago, and every day since then, you questioned whether or not you made the right decision.  You had no hard proof that he had been unfaithful.  Sure, Stephanie said she saw him, but she only saw from a distance.  Maybe she was mistaken.  Maybe it was just someone who looked like David.

“Is this seat taken?”

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hello there!! have you been doing well, angel? if not, this is a gentle but firm reminder to get your shit together. but hey, why shouldn’t you be proud of yourself? you have conquered so many years of your life and - no don’t you dare try to be modest, every single tiny achievement matters. + I’m here to tell you that failing is NORMAL. everyone fails at one thing or another but succeed at another. And if you feel that you aren’t successful at anything, then darling you haven’t tried hard enough.
alright alright, before I begin ranting out of the topic, let’s get started.

note: this is a part of the get your shit together masterposts. To view the other articles in this category and to view the topics in this that I’ll be covering in future, go here.


avoiding negative feelings

the biggest reason why I don’t have that many negative thoughts (note that I said “many” and not all. I too have bad days once  in a while) now because I realized that I, and only I, am completely on my side. I’m there for me at all times, throughout my life. And doesn’t it sound stupid to be against the only player on my team?

once i realized that, it become so much easier to work at par with myself and to love myself. I became more patient with myself, started embracing my flaws and loving the person that I was. sounds pretty cringy? that’s only because we don’t talk about these things and we feel they aren’t worth talking about. However if you really want to conquer life, loving yourself is the most important layer in this many layered cheesecake and yes, i like food.

cheat code: so how do avoid negative feelings? the answer lies in realizing your worth and capabilities and being on the same team as your own self.


dealing with negative feelings

now we come to the part when you are having negative feelings. Everyone has bad days and negative feelings but you can deal with ‘em in a better way than feeling low and wasting your entire day. and here’s way number one -

figure out what triggered you. when I have a bad day I sit down and list down what exactly provocated the bad day. these were my reasons -

  • someone said I was being annoying
  • I didn’t get much done that day
  • I felt gross and untidy

then, find solutions to those problems.

  • hey, everyone don’t have to like you. you are proud of yourself and that’s enough.
  • Make a list. Do those things. I don’t care if you’re tired, do those things. If you don’t do them, you’ll feel guilty and that’s never fun.
  • god, just go take a shower again. (taylor, you stink.)

as you see, the problems were really petty and solutions are pretty simple. but remember that these problems aren’t negligible. this method works bc once you figure out solutions to them, you figure out a method how to fight them so that the same problems to affect you again. Now I know that when I feel gross I need to take a shower and not roam around like a stinky animal. See what I mean?

lastly, realize that these things are not worth you losing control of yourself and walking around like a dead zombie #rip.

sometimes I have negative feelings because I feel under confident or not sure about something. when this happens, which leads me to way number two - I have a convo with myself.

ok mate, why do you feel down? um I don’t feel sure about this presentation. what if I screw this up? what if the teacher is like this is so shit?? what if I never get to eat donuts again???

seriously? well, I can assure you that donuts aren’t going extinct. as for this interview, listen child. you have prepared for this shit, you can do it. doN’T freak out and don’t think you can’t ace this. you can, trust me.

talking to myself not only helps calm me down but also gives me a sense of purpose. That I have promised myself to ace this and I cannot let myself down. 


loving yourself

  • understanding why

why should you love yourself?

bc you yourself crave the feeling to be loved. isn’t being in love simply magical? Well, so is being in love with yourself. it is even more magical tbh. this is bc you are with yourself 24/7 and when you start loving yourself you become much more aware of yourself and you have able to work much better since you are able to identify your flaws and strengths. Remember when you used to bitch about that girl on whom every guy had a crush and you none? (same fam #LongLiveTheHobos) Turns out that someone does have a huge crush on you. Love yourself, your brain craves for you.

  • take yourself out on dates

raise your hand if you think dates are great. I agree. They are even better when you go out to a restaurant bc like food is great. it is super important that you take your own self out of dates and not only bc you are hungry but bc a conqueror (yAS THOSE ARE MY PEOPLE) knows the value of taking time off for himself. These are not simply slogging through the weekend and binge watching Netflix, mind you. That’s a huge waste of time, froind. A conqueror makes a date official. cheat code: remember that your dates have to be memorable and most importantly, well earned. Here’s a checklist to make your dates more special.

  • positive energy, check.
  • more smiles and hugs, check.
  • a happy mindset, check.
  • and how about a list of things that you can do for yourself?

the turn a bad day around challenge

here’s the first challenge of the get your shit together series! I introduced this bc readers said that the topics on here were easy to say but harder to carry out.I do agree with that but hey, I never said that getting your shit together would be easy. by completing the challenges you can implement the ideas I’m trying to propagate here and also get a feel of having that particular area under your control.

  • task one: when you are having a bad day, sit down. list down the reasons why it was a bad day and why are you feel down. it can be as simple as not getting enough sleep and feeling grumpy.
  • task two: list down the solutions that you can use to overcome those problems.
  • task three: remind yourself that these petty problems cannot cost you your valuable time and that you are a badass bitch and you can handle everything.
  • task four: make a to-do list. I know you haven’t done no shit today so now is the time to shine. don’t put like a thousand things on the list tho lmao. three - four would do enough for the moment.
  • task five: do those things. seriously, do them.
  • task six: (and this is the nicest one) treat yo'self!! you have literally turned around a bad day and done so much shit! you have successfully conquered this day, a day which would have been spent lamenting and getting nothing done. maybe go treat yourself to some delicious pumpkin pie from a bakery (share with me pls); you really do deserve it!! I’m so proud of you :^)

and that’s it, it’s a wrap! if you have any questions/suggestions regarding anything I said up there (or maybe you just wanna talk about food), feel free to send in a message! my other masterposts are here and to request a masterpost, leave your question in my ask box!

I hope you all are well, stay safe and conquer life, you amaze conqueror :“)

Like you mean it 😘

Thank you, @cuppa-tea-eh for that prompt! :) It was so much fun! (and whenever ‘it was fun’ it turns into… well, 3k this time. Whoops!) I also posted it on AO3 if you prefer to read it there… :)


Cho Chang. Cho Chang? Really? Cho. Chang!!

“Draco, are you alright?” Pansy was waving a hand in front of his face, scrutinising him intently. She looked worried.

“Cho Chang,” Draco muttered for the umpteenth time. Pansy sighed, letting her hand drop to her side and leaning away again.

“Yes, Draco, Cho Chang. But she said no. She’s already going with someone else.”

Draco couldn’t help but sneer. Thank Merlin Chang was already going out with Diggory! But Potter seemed to fancy her nonetheless. Draco had caught him staring at the Ravenclaw in the Great Hall several times. It made him want to dump his porridge on Potter’s head.

When he saw Potter the next day, he noticed how tense his shoulders looked, how he was walking with his head bowed. Draco would have liked nothing more than to go over there and end Potter’s misery. There were only a few minor problems. Draco had a reputation to uphold. He couldn’t just walk over there and ask him to the Yule Ball. Besides, Potter didn’t even like him.

The more Draco thought about the impossibility of ever being with the stupid Gryffindor, the angrier he got. As he watched Potter cross the courtyard, he acted on impulse. He scooped up a handful of snow and threw it with as much force as he could. It hit Potter right in the back of his head.

“Ow!” He whirled around and narrowed his eyes when he saw Draco sneering at him.

“Potter!” Draco didn’t even have to force his voice to sound gleeful, it was an automatism. “Could you be any more pathetic?” He approached Potter with a smart pace, flashing his ‘Potter stinks’ badge before he came to a halt in front of him. “How does it feel, Potter, to realise you’re not everybody’s darling?” He cackled scornfully, jutting his chin forward. “The Boy Who Lived… can’t even find a date for the Yule Ball.”

Potter glowered at him and Draco felt almost embarrassed about how much he was enjoying it.

“Oh, because everybody is begging you to go with them?” Potter said in a mocking tone. Draco straightened himself, attempting to look as superior as possible.

“Unlike you, I get to pick and choose amongst my devoted admirers.”

Draco scowled when Potter snorted.

“Right. The one devoted admirer being Pansy Parkinson. And you call me pathetic.”

Draco struggled to keep his composure. But he wouldn’t let Potter win.

“Should I build you a snowwoman, so you won’t end up alone after all? At least she’d have as much charisma as you.”

“Don’t bother, Malfoy,” Potter said gruffly. “Worry about yourself. I bet you can’t find someone other than Pansy who’d want to go with you.”

Draco felt his cheeks burn up. He didn’t want to go with Pansy but had already made his peace with it, seeing as the person he really wanted to go with wasn’t an option.

“I already told you, I have lots of choices,” Draco fumed. It was an outright lie and he suspected Potter knew it. The Gryffindor crossed his arms in front of his chest and gave Draco a speculative glance.

“Alright, let’s make a bet then.”

Draco pressed his lips together to keep himself from gaping. He squared his shoulders and forced himself to smirk.

“Sure. But if- I mean when I turn up with my date, who won’t be Pansy, you’ll kneel in front of me and kiss my hand.” Draco chuckled inwardly.

“What? I won’t be kneeling-”

“Scared you’ll lose, Potter?” Draco said tauntingly. Potter gritted his teeth.

“Fine! Since you seem to be so sure of yourself, I’ll make it easy for you. If I win, you’ll kiss your date in front of everyone! Like you mean it.”

Draco bit his lip. Potter wasn’t playing fair. He knew Pansy had a thing for Draco and she would kill him if he went to the ball with somebody else and kissed them right in front of her. But he couldn’t back down now.

“You’ve got yourself a bet, Potter,” he growled and stalked off to the Slytherin common room. What had he gotten himself into? This was bound to end badly. He knew it from the second he had agreed to this stupid bet and was proven right again when he talked to Pansy.

“What do you mean, you can’t go to the ball with me?” she screeched. Draco sighed.

“I made a bet with Potter,” he said, plopping down in an armchair.

“And that bet excludes me as your date?” She was probably going to start throwing things any second now.

“It does,” Draco replied. “Just ask Blaise or something.” It was obviously the wrong thing to say. Pansy’s face was red and blotchy, her nostrils were flared and her eyes look murderous.

“I will kill Potter for this,” she yelled and stormed off into her dorm. Draco let his head fall back and tried not to think about how Pansy would react if he actually had to kiss someone in front of her. Like you mean it. Potter’s words echoed in his head. That would be a tough sell. The only person he could imagine kissing in earnest was the one he’d had to beat in this stupid bet.


Draco looked around the Great Hall and wrinkled his nose. Finding a date to the Yule Ball had turned out harder than he had anticipated. Every single person he had asked was already taken, or at least they said they were, and time was running out fast. The stupid ball was tomorrow. His only consolation was that Potter didn’t seem to have had much luck either.

He didn’t know why he did it, what idiocy drove him to provoke Potter further, but when Potions class was over, he strode over to the Gryffindor and casually leaned his hip against his desk.

“Time’s almost up, Potter. We can do a test run if you like, to familiarise your knees to being bent.” Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Granger and Weasley blinking at him.

“I don’t think that will be necessary,” Potter said, standing up. “You on the other hand should probably take better care of these.” Without warning, Potter’s thumb was brushing Draco’s lower lip. “They look a bit chapped. Wouldn’t want your date to cut themselves on your lip.”

Draco could only watch Potter and his friends, who were still gaping at Draco, leave the classroom while he stood there, dumbfounded and rooted to the spot. His heart was about to jump out his chest and his legs felt like he had been hit with the Jelly-Legs-Jinx.

He was still slightly swaying when he found Blaise in the library.

“Got a date yet?” he asked, putting down his quill. Draco groaned.

“No. And Potter is driving me insane!”

“Honestly, you should just ask him to be your date and be done with it,” Blaise suggested.

“You’re very helpful,” Draco barked.

“Seriously, Draco, I swear to Salazar, if you don’t do anything about it and I have to endure you talking about him every waking minute until we finish school, I will throw myself into the Great Lake.”

“You know very well I can’t do anything about it,” Draco huffed. “And I do not talk about him that much.”

Blaise gave him an exasperated look and sighed.

“Why do you even like him?”

Draco frowned.

“How should I know? I just… do.”

Shaking his head, Blaise took his quill and stuffed it into his bag.

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V Route Tips Day 1 - 11

I’ll make this one post. The whole deal is in one post… because I don’t want to put endless links in the Masterpost though. 


Disclaimer: 

  • This will contain spoilers. I’ve done my best to not spoil the plot. 
  • This is how I personally played through this. I’ve gotten the normal ending. But I assume it’s like the other routes, depending on guests. But I can not 100% confirm this will work for everyone.
  • I am not entirely sure how many guests you need to get the good ending. Someone told me you need 15 Guests in order to get it, instead of 9 or 10 in the other routes. I’ve had 13 Guests iirc… So yeah that’s not enough.

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Disrespect me? Get Shut Down and Blacklisted

So I used to work as a waiter at a fairly okay steakhouse around the US. Enjoyed my job, got great satisfaction from making people happy, had regulars who loved me and would only come in to see me (even long after the menu items they originally came for stopped being offered).

Well the company decides that this particular location needs a new General Manager. This is someone who was, as it turns out, fired from his last GM position for toxic behaviours including but not limited to sexual harassment of younger female staff.

A'ight, no big. I can roll with pretty much anything. Mostly because I’m very ‘out’ about being LGBT (specifically the T part) and surround myself with friends and family who are totally cool with that.

GM is an older gentleman, conservatively raised, and incredibly vocal about his personal politics (including, oddly enough, something about there being more trees in north america NOW than there has ever been, and how global warming is good because ‘all those trees need all that carbon dioxide anyway’). Odd fellow, not very well educated, but this is lower-end management at best anyway so what can you expect?

Well, as I’ve said, I was very much 'out’ at work, and so would, when appropriate, gently remind my coworkers that certain pronouns are maybe… not the best used when referring to me. In reference to the GM, though this fellow would go out of his way to refer to me using an incorrect honorific- american south… Maam and Sir are just things everyone says regardless. It happens, I get that. But twice in every sentence is not an accident.  Going out of his way to dig up my 'dead’ name (the name I used before transition)… also not an accident. 

Well, I’d been hearing from other staff that the new GM was being incredibly derogatory towards me when I wasn’t around as well, and decided that the mature thing to do would be to approach him in private and ask him about it. Maybe give him a chance to ask any questions he might have, or at least come to a mutual agreement (preferably one that doesn’t include deliberately-misgendering honorifics). 
Turns out he’d rather have that conversation at the front door, while guests of the restaurant are still entering and exiting, despite my repeated requests to talk to him in a more private place. 

I bring up my concerns.

Not only are they true, but he’s been frothing at the bit to have this conversation with me, and spends the next solid twenty minutes lecturing me (I barely got in three full sentences- this man also doesn’t know that interrupting is inappropriate in a discussion). He brings up the fact that he has 'a degree in biology’… yeah so do I, but mine is thirty years more recent than his, guaranteed. He brings up the fact that it’s 'rude’, 'childish’, and 'stupid’ for me to even ask him to consider NOT using the honorific he’s decided is appropriate. He even goes so far to try to explain how chromosomes work to me. ….and.. clearly doesn’t understand at all how chromosomes work. In -any- species, H.sapiens included.

So here’s the revenge part.

I had taken about two weeks off, to be started the next day, in order to visit family in another part of the world for the first time in several years. So I simply went in the next day and told an office full of managers to.. not worry about putting me on the schedule come time. Two weeks off equals two weeks notice. No big. Got to fly the bird (In america, a rude gesture involving the middle finger alone) at GM who was in the office with other managers at the time. 

Now that I was no longer employed at company, I was free to speak of my experience without fear of consequence. So I spoke to friends. Spoke to allies. Spoke to legal teams. All about this obvious discrimination and attempted bullying by someone in a position of power, in a part of the United States with very, VERY defined fairness ordinances explicitly in place to prevent LGBT discrimination in a city that is known by the region as being a 'hub’ for LGBT treatment and opportunity and resources and community.

Friends called HR. Other co-workers contacted me about issues they’d had with the GM in the same vein. I included these (dates, times, names, witnesses, contact information for those who consented) in my own formal report. More friends called HR. And then MORE friends called HR.

So many people called to complain to the restaurants public resources team that they would no longer ever come to said restaurant if this was the kind of behaviour that was accepted as representing the company…. That the company closed the entire location with a week, and the GM has apparently been utterly blacklisted from the restaurant business in the city/county due to this scandal.

Apparently it was more money than it was worth to fight the scandal, and the restaurant chain decided to cut their losses and close the site entirely. 

(I would like to add that staff were heftily compensated/transferred/offered opportunities elsewhere and no one was 'kicked to the curb’ for being an innocent bystander)

But it feels so good to pass by the now derelict building and think to myself “I did that. Frick that guy. That guy was awful.”

Counting Orgasms

Pairing: Yoongi x Reader

Type: Smut, overstimulation, multiple orgasms

Plot: You learn your lesson, a lesson about never lying. To never lie about how good your boyfriend is in bed.

Originally posted by wonhobe

I couldn’t do it. Desperate moans, fingers working vociferously at my clit. Images of my boyfriend painted in my mind. I just could not do it. No matter what I tried. A bath, a sexy movie, listening to my boyfriend’s music. Nothing worked better than his touch. And he deprived me of it recently. I just couldn’t cum without him.

I was driven mad by this. Entirely desperate for such an unobtainable release. I knew he was the only one whom could grant this, and I resented him so much for denying it. Sure, he was busy. But how busy can a man be to deprive his girlfriend of her own basic needs? I needed to vent before a fight brewed. So, I did just that.

“Y/N… Why don’t you just talk to him about it?” My best friend confided in me. We were face timing, and I was begging for a solution to such a peculiar problem.

My eyes widened, “No! Are you kidding! If I were to talk to him about this he would just write me off as being horny and annoying, not sexy and needy.”  I snapped suddenly at my friend, my own sexual tension, and frustration beginning to escape through words.

Her eyes stared at me for a moment, a smile erupting on her face, “You are so sexually frustrated Y/N.” She exclaimed, laughing to the point of tears welling in her eyes.

I rolled your eyes, finding a small laugh bubbling up within you due to hearing her’s. I sighed, “It’s not funny, okay? He hasn’t done anything with me for, like, 2 weeks. I’m dying over here.” I whined, pouting at the joke of it.

My friend snickered, “Is it because you can’t get him up anymore?” She asked deviously, making me gasp immediately.

“What? No! That’s not it at all!” I defended myself, taken aback by her question. I had wondered about this for the past 2 weeks, but soon enough came to the conclusion that it wasn’t my fault, but rather his.

“Then why on earth would your boyfriend not want to fuck you?” My friend challenged, wiggling her eyebrows. I laughed with her at this, shrugging my shoulders.

“I don’t know… He says he’s busy but when he is home he doesn’t do anything. I’ve been trying so damn hard. It feels like he doesn’t want me.” I relished in my own pity party, a frown overtaking my expression.

“Aww, Y/N… I’m sure it’s not your fault! You’re beautiful, okay? I bet he just feels awkward because he knows he isn’t fucking you right.” At this, I laughed. I laughed so hard that I snorted, catching both me and my friend by surprise.

“Come on though, Y/N… Spill it, he isn’t good in bed, is he? Because if he was, he’d be fucking you every night. Hell, if I were gay I would too.” My friend announced, making my laughter never cease to give up, “Come on! Just admit it.” She egged on.

“Okay, okay. I mean, the last time we did anything he couldn’t even make me cum.” I chimed in. My friend’s eyes lit up at this, “I knew it! He can’t make you cum, can he?” She exclaimed.

I went with the sarcasm of the situation and nodded, laughing with her, “Nope. He can’t.” I lied, making her raise her fists and cheer, “I knew it!”

“I can’t?” Yoongi’s voice cut through the happy aura of the environment, my friend going silent, holding back laughter from the awkward situation.

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10 Things I Learned as an Interviewer for the Interviewee

As a fourth year medical students (yikes) I was able to become an interviewer for my medical school. So yes, that means maybe someone I’ve interviewed may one day see this. Though probably not. Anyways, it was very surreal to be on the other side of the process all these years later and while I’m getting ready for interviews myself (anyone want me for residency, btw?)

A lot of expectations and previous notions about interviews that I had really did change and I can see how intricate the process actually is, and I get why we get asked the questions we do. At least somewhat better.                                                                   

All experiences and interviewers are different but here are some things I think can really help out the interviewee. Maybe things you thought were hard and fast rules but aren’t or things you didn’t expect us to be looking for. Anything to help! And while this is directed at pre-meds, the advice should still general enough that anyone can use it, if they want.

Some things to know beforehand; I was part of a two-on-one interview setting which lasted 30 minutes with a few preset questions we needed to ask. The interview was blind, so we couldn’t see stats.

Take a second to observe your interviewers.

This isn’t an open invitation to judge your interviewers, but most of us are pretty telling in the way we present ourselves. If you can take a break for the nerves for a second pay attention to our introductions, our demeanor and how we’re dressed. It can give you a sense of how relaxed or stringent we may be and what our personalities may be like even if we were told to stay stone cold poker-faced. And always keep in mind who your interviewers are and what departments they’re from. It can help guide the tone we set for the entire interview.  

Play off the interviewers.

Now that you’ve taken a moment to take in your surroundings use those to your advantage. If we’re playing tough, answer with strength and intention. If we’re relaxed, don’t sit so stiff and maybe get us to laugh. If you are asked thought provoking questions, take time to think about it and provide thought provoking answers. The more you work with us, the easy and more open a dialog becomes and the more personable the interview will become. It’s a great way to show flexibility and adaptation, and for the interviewers who did this well we found ourselves impressed.

If I’m offering you information, take it.

If I am telling you that I am a 4th year and I can answer your questions about rotations, classes, or student life I am literally giving you questions to ask me in the event you have forgotten all of yours. If faculty tells you which program they are a part of and what they specialize in they are opening that line of information for you. They are telling you were their interests and focuses are and you can run with that, if you like.

Please, please do your research.

We had an application who couldn’t tell us what they liked our school. Had no idea what the mission statement was or what the goals of the school were. Didn’t have a clue. I had to use my doctor face so I could stay neutral. It was bad. I get that you just want to be in medical school but come on. Point blank, there is no excuse for anyone to know nothing about the program they’re interviewing for. You should also have worked out answers for frequently asked questions. Getting stumped on classic medical school questions…it’s a big red flag. So please plan ahead and do your research.  

Pick the length of your answers carefully.

Different types of questions prompt different types of answers. There are a lot of questions that can prompt follow up questions. Hobbies for example; going into every detail about your hobbies is probably counterproductive. But that’s assuming you have a fair amount of things you like to do that aren’t medicine. You can add a snip here and there, like “I’ve done that for 15 years” or “it’s really a huge passion of mine” but if there is interest in hearing more, we’ll most likely ask. If you only have one thing, don’t think “I like running” is a good enough answer. Give us something to work with. There are questions, especially theoretical ones or tell me a story situations that are meant to be longer. And always keep in mind your time limit.

Be confident, not cocky.

There is a huge difference between smug and confident. We had one prospect who gave this shit-eating “gotcha” grin after every question they thought they had aced. It was almost like they were trying to directly challenging me. It got to the point that I stopped caring what they were saying and was just getting pissed. The answers could have been great (they weren’t) but all that stuck with me was the cockiness. Not sure if you do that unintentionally? That’s what practice interviews are for. There are very clear differences when someone was proud of an answer and were pleased, and what this individual was doing. And if you do act that way, personally, I don’t want you representing my school, regardless of what your application looks like.

I don’t care about the “right” answer. I care why.

I know there are certain questions answers that are kind of set in stone. And I know straying too far from say, an ethics question, is hard to do in a new and unique way. The way to make yourself stand out from the crowd is to explain the reasons why you believe this to be the “right” answers since those tend to differ among applicants and shows your critical thinking skills past “well obviously this is the right answer”. Aside from that most interviewers don’t have specific expectations for most questions. We’d rather just hear about you and your personal experiences, honestly.

We’re not always looking for your spoken answer.

Sometimes we’re looking at your body language. I will purposefully ask questions I know there are only a few answers too. Not because I want to know if you know it, but rather how you viscerally respond. Do you look uncomfortable when answering an ethics or grades question? Did you answer robotically? Are you still looking at me? Can you pick yourself back up after a rough question? What you do speaks just as loud as the things your saying and I’m looking for it.

Use your personality and responses to show you want to be here. Not your grades.

This was not an isolated event. I had a few prospective students speak about a class and sneak in “which I got an A in” and continue. Not really a fan of that. I naturally assume that everyone we interviewed had good enough grades and scores because, well, you’re at the interview. At this point in the process all I want if for you to shine beyond those things and prove to me that you can be a doctor on paper and in person.  

Make me feel connected to you.

In the end, I want to feel like I know who you are. I want to know what you stand for and I want to experience the person who wants to become a physician. I want to appreciate your story and how far you’ve come. We don’t need to become best friends, we don’t need to have similar thoughts or values or personalities. But I want to feel like we could understand each other now and in the future. Let me be excited about you and for you. Let me want you to be here so I can check accept.

I hope someone was able to get something useful from this because for all of you here dying to enter this crazy profession I want you to reach your goals. I really do, and I’m just doing all I can on the internet. Good luck to everyone on your interviews!